From universally acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki comes his final film, The Wind Rises, an epic but deeply personal story that spans decades. It's the story of Jiro, a young Japanese boy who dreams of flying and designing airplanes. Near-sighted from a young age, Jiro is unable to be a pilot, but whe nhe finishes school he quickly joins a japanese engineering firm, becoming one of the most innovative and accomplished designers. The Wind Rises is a fitting conclusion to Hayao Miyazaki's career, being a film that celebrates the beauty of life and the importance to live it to the fullest. Jiro is a incredibly kind and generous man, yet throughout this film despair and sadness seem to follow him wherever he goes. Given the time period when The Wind Rises takes place, Jiro lives through the massive earthquake of 1923, the great depression in Japan, an epidemic of tuberculosis, and of course Japan's entrance into World War II. Through all of this, Jiro still pushes forward, striving to be the best he can be and help out wherever possible. The Wind Rises captures the darkness and light that is so prevalent throughout our lives ultimately showing the beauty of life itself while doing it. I've always preferred 2-D animation to 3-D animation, especially in Miyazaki's films. It's hard to explain but I feel 2-D simply has more soul and artistry, with Miyazaki's penchant for grandiose, lush settings full of detail being very prevalent throughout The Wind Rises. Miyazaki is one of the few animation filmmakers in which visual design and cinematography play a major role in telling the story, with The Wind Rises being full of beautiful moments a plenty. If this is in fact Hayao Miyazaki's final film it's a worthy one, though I totally expect this won't be his last.
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